Island Idyll : A West Indies Estate on Casey Key

“Absolutely the most stunning site on which I have ever worked,” is how this sprawling home is described by the builder Dwayne Robinson of D.E. Robinson Construction Group. The compound, realized by residential designer Jon Coulthurst of JC Drafting & Design, rests on two waterfront lots at the northern point of Casey Key, looking toward the Intracoastal Waterway. The owners, a couple from Ohio who have built previous Southwest Florida homes, including two designed by Coulthurst, spotted one of the lots while driving around. They were so enamored by the views, they bought the adjoining lot as well.

Working closely with the owners, Coulthurst envisioned a West Indies estate with separate pods of living space, so the owners, and their large extended family could share the space, yet maintain privacy while everyone was in residence.

The 20,034-square-foot home has a West retreat which serves as the owner’s private quarters, and an East retreat where grandkids and their adult children can spread out, with their own eat-in kitchen, three bedrooms and three baths. The center houses the main kitchen and living areas. The back of the home facing the water offers a pool and recreation area for family get-togethers.

“Projects are much easier when everyone contributes to the finished design and works collaboratively,” Coulthurst says. “The owners, with whom I have worked on several of their homes, had definite ideas of what they wanted. I listened carefully, putting the pieces together and coming up with a design they found very pleasing.”

Robinson also found the collaboration a satisfying one. “I have worked with Jon before on other homes for these owners. Everyone involved traded ideas, collaborated easily, and most importantly, allowed me to ensure that the quality met the high standard I insist upon in my projects. Mine is a small company and I am very hands-on. I’m personally at the site every day. I had only the help of Jim Padovano, my superintendent, and Von Boyd, my one-person office staff, so the term personal service means everything to me. Jon also has those exacting standards in all of his projects, so we complement each other well.”

Coulthurst worked closely alongside his son, Justin, to whom he is teaching the business. “In a few years, I may ride off into the sunset knowing I’ve left the business in good hands,” he says. For now, working with his son, Dwayne, and cooperative and creative owners is all any residential designer could wish. Coulthurst affirms, “I take great pride in seeing the homeowner’s satisfaction in a well-designed home.”


Open porches and large casement windows capture the breezes from the Gulf and Intracoastal Waterway. A crab orchid flagstone and grass inlay on the Lafitte paver motor court points visitors to the steps leading through uplit terraced planters to the 8-foottall transom mahogany front doors. Twin two-car garages with mahogany doors by D&D Garage Doors share the lower level with service and storage areas for this estate.


This charming living room offers a comfortable place for the homeowners to relax. A Tommy Bahama ebony credenza from a previous residence, was retrofitted to accommodate a larger TV screen. A scroll-armed couch and matching oversize chair in a teak finish with patterned cotton cushions are set upon a cream and blue patterned wool area rug. Nubby taupe fabric covers the settee resting between ebony wood end tables, which are topped with scrolled porcelain lamps with parchment shades. A small wrought iron and teak table stands next to a leather clad campaign chair and matching hassock.


Mahogany banded oval windows flank the mahogany double front door in the foyer. Inset barred glass and a transom above the door add to the flood of light already streaming in from the casement windows. The ceiling is mahogany tongue-and-groove. Mexican Saltillo tiles with handmade insets tiles in shades of cobalt and cream adorn the floor. The hallway continues into the key drop area that sports a bespoke wood cabinet with a quartz top. Above the custom mahogany and iron balustrade hangs a canvas created by a local artist from a photo taken in Greece by the owners. The Livex Lighting Coronado scrolled iron and alabaster chandelier is from Bee Ridge Lighting.


The pale walls are Sherwin Williams Blissful Blue. The cypress tongue-andgroove ceiling is in a cool pickle finish. A sisal banded rug in earthy russet is under foot. A carved-leg ebony table offers seating for eight on ladder-back chairs with duck cotton seats clad in oatmeal linen, and Parsons chairs covered in printed French fabric. Place settings and flatware are from Malbi Décor. Floating cypress shelves were designed by the builder to showcase treasures collected by the owners on their globetrotting travels. Porcelain plank flooring in Wood Nut from Sant’ Agostino mimics the look of hardwood and is virtually maintenance-free.


Maple and cherry Farmhouse cabinets by Cuisistock bring warmth to the open style kitchen. A thick slab of Bianco Armano granite tops the large island which serves both as food preparation space and seating area. Hudson Valley Independence pendants from Bee Ridge Lighting hang from the mahogany tongue-and-groove transom ceiling. A wood clad vent hood covers the Wolf professional stovetop. The Sub-Zero refrigerator is hidden behind panels matching the cabinetry. A subway tile backsplash, with decorative inset and ribbon, and the porcelain plank flooring make cleanup a breeze.


Love Letter wallpaper by Andrew Martin, comprised of hundreds of postcards, continues the theme of travel behind the four-poster bamboo bed with carved headboard from Tommy Bahama. The bed is clad in Indian print linens, recalling the days of the Raj, with a dragonfly accent pillow bringing a touch of whimsy. Matching nightstands hold painted porcelain column lamps with bronze paper shades, casting warm light, as does the Kichler Hatteras Bay fan hanging from the Cove crown moulding-accented ceiling. The teak wood settee at the foot of the bed features a delicate scrollwork design and offers a home to floral needlepoint pillows. A message pillow joins the printed cotton cushions of the overstuffed rattan armchair with hassock. Next to it sits a wrought iron and teak table. A vintage French dressmaker’s model sports a grass skirt, a nod to the owner’s love of Hawaii. Porcelain plank flooring continues in this room. A set of sliding glass doors opens out onto the porch with custom-designed aluminum railings that never require painting and Amaretto floor pavers are laid in an Apian Combo design.


Vibrant walls in Sherwin Williams Leisure Blue set off this half of the master bath. It features a stand-alone Monroe claw-footed tub by American Bath, a Travertine-clad doorless shower, complete with a tile inlay of koi fish by Motawi, and a Wilson Arno quartz topped bench and thermostatic wall faucet by Hansgrohe. A crystal and bronze chandelier from Fine Art Lamps lights the beautiful ivory tones of the Travertine floor.


Craftsman cabinets are painted white with mismatched iron pulls in the kitchen/ dining area of the East Retreat. White 3-by-6-inch subway tiles, grouted in black, provide a crisp accent to the perimeter granite countertop in Brushed Absolute Black. Cambria Torquay quartz in an ivory shade tops the sage green wooden island with prep sink and chrome Moen Bridge faucet. More touches of color are provided by the egg-yellow metal stools and the Millennium RLM pendant lights from Bee Ridge Lighting that echo the soft robin’s egg blue of the walls. A white wood and butcher-block table and chairs set provides sturdy seating. The slate grey porcelain plank flooring by Sant’ Agostino will prove equally durable.


Hot aqua walls set the tone for this marine-themed bedroom. The white painted panel bed with cutwork headboard hosts a bevy of sea creatures. A white column lamp, with linen shade, and an Asian coin lamp top the small maple end tables. The slate grey porcelain plank floor plays host to a brushed velvet area rug in a vibrant teal. Overhead a Craftmade Port Arbor fan in gunmetal grey from Bee Ridge Lighting stirs the air.


Amaretto pavers form the deck around the 16-by-32-foot rectangular pool, which offers relaxed sunbathing via brown wicker rattan chairs and chaises. Robinson constructed a custom teak credenza to house pool toys, cleaning equipment and the pools’ automatic safety cover. The pool itself has a white Pebble Tec finish, set with shimmering flakes of Abalone. All terracing is created from Oldcastle Anchor Diamond retaining walls in Sandstone, housing a myriad of tropical plants and serving as a backdrop to the towering coconut palms. Long gallery porches topped with tongue-and-groove mahogany ceilings are lit for nighttime use and screened porches on both the East and West retreats provide spaces for outdoor dining or a spot to wait out passing summer showers. Seen in the far right of the photo is a spiral staircase which leads up to the living area of the West retreat.

Written by Brooke Parker

Photography by Jimmy White

Bee Ridge Lighting
3909 Bee Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34233

D & D Garage Doors
1177 Cattlemen Road
Sarasota, FL 34232

D. E. Robinson Construction Group, LLC
2208 Sunnyside Place
Sarasota, FL 34239

JC Drafting & Design, Inc.
905 Ponder Avenue, Suite C
Sarasota, FL 34232

Malbi Décor
127 South Pineapple Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

Mélange Home
64 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

Mullet’s Appliances
4233 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233

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